Definition analysis of open source intelligence

Open source intelligence (OSINT) can be said to be a research method. While open source intelligence has been exploited by militaries, governments, and police departments for decades, the intelligence community has yet to settle on an official definition and characterization of open source intelligence once and for all. For practical purposes, open source intelligence can generally be defined as the collection, assessment, analysis, and dissemination of publicly available information.

Breaking it down a bit further - Intelligence in its original definition, intelligence is information of particular value. To generate intelligence, professionals typically process information on a specific schedule through the intelligence cycle, which includes direction, collection, collation, evaluation, analysis, and dissemination.

This intelligence is of course produced to meet specific intelligence requirements, such as reducing crime rates or disrupting specific criminal groups. Open source intelligence is only a branch of intelligence. Intelligence disciplines also include Human intelligence (HUMINT), Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT), Signals intelligence (SIGINT), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), and Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT). The "open source" part means that the information is freely available and comes from a variety of sources, including the Internet, books, journals, newspapers, and published government data. Any source that anyone can access without prior approval or permission can be considered open source.

It is worth noting that some practitioners consider open source intelligence to mean free information only, classifying any paid information as outside the framework of open source intelligence. However, if the information is truly open source, cost itself is not the deciding factor. During World War II, Allied troops rummaged through German newspapers and listened to radio broadcasts from around the world for any information of value. The fact that newspapers are not free does not prevent them from being open source intelligence. While data processors may be required to pay or subscribe for comprehensive information, the information itself remains open source, if not otherwise restricted.

Finally, open source intelligence generally refers to information from the Internet, which has become the world's largest source of information in general. More than 5 billion people (approximately 63% of the world's population) have access to the Internet, which contains more than 1.2 million terabytes of data. Another 4.7 billion people worldwide have social media accounts, suggesting that almost all internet users share their personal information via social media platforms.

【Web Intelligence Monitoring】●Advantages of open source intelligence
銆怬pen Source Intelligence銆戔棌5 Hacking Forums Accessible by Web Browsers
【Artificial Intelligence】●Advanced tips for using ChatGPT-4
銆怤etwork Security銆戔棌9 popular malicious Chrome extensions
【Open Source Intelligence】●10 core professional competencies for intelligence analysts
銆怰esources銆戔棌The 27 most popular AI Tools in 2023